Farewell to Jimmy Little
Australian music was in mourning last week with the news musician Jimmy Little had passed away at his home in Dubbo aged 75. Little enjoyed a career spanning over 50 years and was one of the first Aboriginal musicians to enjoy national success with his 1963 single ‘Royal Telephone’ topping the Australian charts. He followed this up releasing over 16 albums during the 60’s and 70’s.
During the 1980’s Little was quieter on the music front dedicating himself to family and other projects. He returned to the mainstream music scene with the 1999 release Messenger, an album covering popular Australian artists including Paul Kelly, Crowded House and The Go-Betweens.
Steve Kilbey, frontman of Aussie band The Church, said when he heard Little’s rendition of their song ‘Under the Milky Way’ it was like: “I was hearing the song for the first time.”
Little was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1999 and continued to release albums right up until 2004, the same year when he was made a member of the Order of Australia.
His soft, crooning voice often saw him referred to as the Australian Bing Crosby and he is truly an Australian music legend. Vale Jimmy, we will miss you.
Classical v Contemporary
The gloves are off in Australia with the news the classical music label Melba received $750,000 in Federal government funding last year yet only released three albums during that time.
The small label has been receiving millions of dollars in government funding since 2004 and is now pointed at as an example of bias in government funding when it comes to the arts and music industries. The contemporary music industry, which receives little funding, is especially cheesed off with the level of taxpayer’s money spent on a small label in a niche market.
SLAM (Save Live Australia’s Music) – a campaign aimed at preserving live music venues and opportunities – released a statement saying they were ‘outraged one particular section of music receives such funding while contemporary music programs receive next to nothing’.
Music from the Motherland, always one to pull a conspiracy out of thin air, notes ambassadors and backers of Melba include cultural heavyweights like Baz Lurhman and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch. There are also claims that Melba (with the help of influential friends) were able to bypass the Australia Council (the board responsible for Arts funding) and go straight to the federal Treasurers office at the time they were applying for funding! Music, scandal, money, politicians – it’s got it all and we love it!
VB to the beat
With the heavy nature of these past stories we thought we’d leave you on an upbeat note, and it literally is. Some bedroom producer/DJ known only to us as Brendan B has taken one of our iconic national anthems and remixed it into a modern day floor filler.
No, don’t be silly, we’re not talking about Advance Australia Affair! We are, of course, talking about the Victoria Bitter beer tune; that classic ad jingle that has been around for years.
Normally we’d be fuming when someone takes a sacred song and puts a cheesy bass line to it (Crooker’s 1998 remix of ‘Thunderstruck’ springs to mind). This one, along with the montage of VB ad’s they put together, left us bopping at the computer and wanting to reach for an ice cold beer. And the best cold beer? Well, we think you know the answer.
Listen and watch Brendan B’s VB tune remix video below and tell us what you think: